Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 10, 2012

Won’t let me drive late at night

Filed under: Alameda, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

On Friday, news broke that six Alameda teenagers were injured in a car accident in the early morning hours.   Five of the passengers escaped with only minor injuries, but the sixth, the driver, was seriously injured and still hospitalized as of yesterday.   All of the minors were under 15 and the driver was only 15 as well.   According to all reports, so far, the car was apparently taken without the permission of one of the parents of the minors in the car.

Highlights from the Alameda Patch report:

[Sgt Ron] Simmons said the tree was “right at the driver’s door on impact” when the crash occurred. The driver and the one passenger in the front seat were wearing seat belts, but the four teens in the back seat were not, he said.

He said Alameda Fire Department personnel had to cut the vehicle’s A-pillar below the windshield and peel back the vehicle’s roof to extract the driver after the crash. Emergency personnel were able to reach the passengers without extracting them, he said.

Tweeter @medablog took screencaps of the news report which showed photo of the mangled vehicle:

Also according to an ABC 7 report alcohol was found in the trunk of the car, but one of the parents and the owner of the car said it belonged to him and that the kids might not have known it was even in the car.

This topic has, naturally, caused a great stir on Alameda Patch where it was first posted.   One of the most interesting things that came up was the existence of a  curfew and whether these kids were in violation of a curfew.   It doesn’t appear that there is a city curfew in Alameda for minors, even though lots of cities have them.

The City of Concord has a particularly strict one which makes parents responsible for the actions of their minors, and will be responsible for paying for the costs to detain and transport minors that are in violation of the rules.   Late last year Oakland considered adopting a curfew, but then decided to not adopt it.

Data about the effectiveness of curfews is rather mixed and some curfew laws routinely are challenged as a free speech issue.    According to this database though, of all of our neighbors Dublin, Fremont, Hayward, Newark, Pleasanton, San Leandro, and Union City all have curfew.   Alameda along with Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville, and Livermore do not have curfews.    It has Oakland listed as having a curfew, but I believe that might be incorrect.

While I don’t know if having an Alameda curfew could have prevented this accident, just thought I’d pitch the topic out there in case folks that have stronger feelings on this than I do, wanted to have a say on the issue.

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12 Comments

  1. Reminds me of the “don’t let a good kid go bad” commercials to stem auto theft. I didn’t like the comments by one poster on the Alameda Patch blog which outed the parents. This could happen to anyone with a teenager, and given the number of kids involved I doubt it was the first time these kids took the car. I vote for the curfew.

    Comment by commonsense — July 10, 2012 @ 6:44 am

  2. Alameda can become the town in Footloose, next we’ll get rid of dancing and be burning books……..how about everyone just step up and take some responsibility over themselves and learn some common sense, or should we have a law for that…..???

    Comment by Anthony Bologna, Jr. — July 10, 2012 @ 8:25 am

  3. This is a pretty rare situation. One of the worst trends in government is to enact a law because of a single, high profile incident. We have laws already that cover this kind of thing. Thankfully, with gas and insurance prices so high, and the economy so bad, there seem to be many fewer incidents of teen driving disasters. The new stepped restrictions for beginning drivers help, too. I’m against curfews because they will never prevent kids determined to raise hell from doing so but can cause a lot of hassle for those not doing anything wrong. Teens need to test the waters, and it’s healthy to do so cautiously. Just sneaking out at night with a pal to walk around aimlessly is an adventure and no big deal. Why turn it into an arrest? If you sneak out to break into houses or do drugs, we have laws for that.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — July 10, 2012 @ 9:12 am

  4. No curfew for kids, period. Agree 100% with Denise.

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 10, 2012 @ 9:35 am

  5. FYI: Patch is running a teen curfew poll here: http://alameda.patch.com/articles/poll-does-alameda-need-a-teen-curfew

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 10, 2012 @ 10:10 am

  6. I changed my mind. I’m opening an after hours oxygen bar, tattoo shop, driving school and night club furnishing non- alcoholic beverages exclusively for teens in your neighborhood. Teens from all over Alameda and neighboring communities will flock there.

    heh Denise- ever heard of Megan’s law?

    Comment by commonsense — July 10, 2012 @ 10:27 am

  7. commonsense, sorry but we already have them in my neighborhood and they’re visited all night every night…and they don’t discriminate between adults of non-adults, though you probably can’t tell the difference since they all act the same.

    What;s Megan’s law got to do with curfew?

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 10, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

  8. I’m in 100% agreement with Jack and Denise.

    Been waiting to be able to say that again, it’s been awhile. ;-)

    Comment by jkw — July 10, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

  9. No on Curfew!!! Reading all the Comments on Friday Patch I think there may be more to this story than it seems. However there is time for all that later. The most important issue is the recovery of the child. His friends Posting comments seem to imply a different scenario of how the keys were obtained. Then there is I guess no AC Service to Bay Farm at night. Is that true? Not much to do for teens on BF at night. Really not too much for them in this town.

    Comment by frank — July 10, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

  10. No, no, no curfew. My kids are twentysomethings now, but when they were teens, and younger than teens, it was very simple: Where are you going this evening? With whom (first and last names)? What telephone number can I use to reach you? If they were going to someone’s house, the phone number of the house. If their plans changed they had to call, no matter how late it was. I told them that the reason for this is that if they did not return when they said they would, I would have to call the police to report them missing, and I would need to know where they were supposed to be so the police could start looking. Since they started with this system from a very young age, they never questioned it. This is not to say that the parents of the teens involved would have known they were going out but just to reinforce the idea of a “parental feedback system” rather than a city curfew that punishes 99% of teens for what only a few might do to get into trouble. There is a state curfew on newly licensed teen drivers– I think it lasts 6 months or a year.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — July 10, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

  11. And it is very sad how blaming and hurtful people can be in this situation– reading all the comments on Patch. I made a few mistakes when I was young and fortunately did not get hurt. One of my cousins did this exact thing but without the dire consequences that have happened to these unfortunate teens. My thoughts and prayers are with them and their families.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — July 10, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

  12. The driver in the accident has a broken neck and was in a coma the last time I checked. His family needs all of our thoughts and prayers right now!

    My granddaughter and the other teens involved in this accident are okay and on the way to a slow recovery. My first reaction was — why were they allowed out at 1:00 in the morning, and why was he driving a car without a license? There are alot of stories circulating out there about who is responsible — all of these questions will be answered in time, but there is no doubt that these teens will be forever changed because of what happened. When I saw my granddaughter in the hospital with a neck brace on, all I could think about was how lucky we are that she is alive!

    Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

    Comment by Karen Bey — July 10, 2012 @ 7:19 pm


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